Amory, in spite of diplomatic effort, had not succeeded in imparting to St. George anything of his talk with Jarvo. Balator was too near, and the place was somehow too generally attentive to permit a secret word. So, as they rose from the table, St. George was still in ignorance of what was toward and knew nothing of either the Ilex Tower or the possibilities of the morrow. He had only one thought, and that was to speak with Olivia, to let her know that he was there on the island, near her, ready to serve her—ah well, chiefly, he did not disguise from himself, what he wanted was to look at her and to hear her speak to him. But Amory had depended on the confusion of the rising to communicate the great news, and to tell about Jarvo, waiting in a motor out there in the palace courtyard, by the wall on the side opposite the windows of the banquet room. In an auspicious moment Amory looked warily about, thrilling with premonition of his friend’s enthusiasm.
Before he could speak, St. George uttered a startled exclamation, caught at Amory’s arm, sprang forward, and was off up the long room, dragging Amory with him.
About the dais there was suddenly an appalling confusion. Push of feet, murmurs, a cry and, visible over the heads between, a glistening of gold uniforms closing about the throne seats, flashing back to the long, open windows, disappearing against the night...
“What is it?” cried Amory as he ran. “What is it?”
“Quick,” said St. George only, “I don’t know. They’ve gone with her.”
Amory did not understand, but he saw that Olivia’s seat was empty; and when he swept the heads for her white veil, it was not there.
“Who has?” he said.
St. George swerved to the side of the room toward the windows, and old Malakh stood there, crying out and pointing.
“The guard, I think,” St. George answered, and was over the low sill of a window, running headlong across the courtyard, Amory behind him. “There they go,” St. George cried. “Good God, what are we to do? There they go.”
Amory looked. Down a side avenue—one of those tunnels of shadow that taught the necessity of mystery—a great motor car was speeding, and in the dimness the two men could see the white of Olivia’s floating veil.
At this, Amory wheeled and searched the length of wall across the yard. If only—if only—
There on the side of the courtyard opposite the windows of the banquet room stood the motor that was that night to go back to Melita. Bolt upright on the seat was Jarvo, and climbing in the tonneau, with his neck stretched toward the confusion of the palace, was Rollo. Jarvo saw Amory, who beckoned; and in an instant the car was beside them and the two men were over the back of the tonneau in a flash.